China

People's Republic of China
中华人民共和国 (Chinese)
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó (Pinyin)
Anthem: 
义勇军进行曲
Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ
"March of the Volunteers"
Territory controlled by the People's Republic of China is shown in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled is shown in light green.
Territory controlled by the People's Republic of China is shown in dark green; territory claimed but not controlled is shown in light green.
CapitalBeijing
39°55′N 116°23′E / 39.917°N 116.383°E / 39.917; 116.383
Largest city
by population
Shanghai
Official languagesStandard Chinese[a]
Recognized regional languages
Official scriptSimplified Chinese[b]
Ethnic groups
(2020)[1]
Religion
(2020)[2]
Demonym(s)Chinese
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
Xi Jinping
• Premier
Li Keqiang
Li Zhanshu
Wang Yang
LegislatureNational People's Congress
Formation
c. 2070 BCE
221 BCE
1 January 1912
1 October 1949
20 September 1954
4 December 1982
20 December 1999
Area
• Total
9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi)[g][5] (3rd / 4th)
• Water (%)
2.8[h]
Population
• 2022 estimate
Neutral decrease 1,411,750,000[7] (1st)
• 2020 census
1,411,778,724[8] (1st)
• Density
145[9]/km2 (375.5/sq mi) (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $30.074 trillion[10] (1st)
• Per capita
Increase $21,291[10] (72nd)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $18.321 trillion[i][10] (2nd)
• Per capita
Increase $12,970[10] (65th)
Gini (2019)Positive decrease 38.2[11]
medium
HDI (2021)Increase 0.768[12]
high · 79th
CurrencyRenminbi (元/¥)[j] (CNY)
Time zoneUTC+8 (CST)
DST is not observed
Date format
Driving sideright (Mainland)
left (Hong Kong and Macau)
Calling code+86 (Mainland)
+852 (Hong Kong)
+853 (Macau)
ISO 3166 codeCN
Internet TLD

China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC),[k] is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land,[l] the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. With an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area.[m] The country consists of 22 provinces,[n] five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Modern Chinese trace their origins to a cradle of civilization in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. The semi-legendary Xia dynasty in the 21st century BCE and the well-attested Shang and Zhou dynasties developed a bureaucratic political system to serve hereditary monarchies, or dynasties. Chinese writing, Chinese classic literature, and the Hundred Schools of Thought emerged during this period and influenced China and its neighbors for centuries to come. In the third century BCE, Qin's wars of unification created the first Chinese empire, the short-lived Qin dynasty. The Qin was followed by the more stable Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), which established a model for nearly two millennia in which the Chinese empire was one of the world's foremost economic powers. The empire expanded, fractured, and reunified; was conquered and reestablished; absorbed foreign religions and ideas; and made world-leading scientific advances, such as the Four Great Inventions: gunpowder, paper, the compass, and printing. After centuries of disunity following the fall of the Han, the Sui (581–618) and Tang (618–907) dynasties reunified the empire. The multi-ethnic Tang welcomed foreign trade and culture that came over the Silk Road and adapted Buddhism to Chinese needs. The early modern Song dynasty (960–1279) became increasingly urban and commercial. The civilian scholar-officials or literati used the examination system and the doctrines of Neo-Confucianism to replace the military aristocrats of earlier dynasties. The Mongol invasion established the Yuan dynasty in 1279, but the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) re-established Han Chinese control. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty nearly doubled the empire's territory and established a multi-ethnic state that was the basis of the modern Chinese nation, but suffered heavy losses to foreign imperialism in the 19th century.

The Chinese monarchy collapsed in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution, when the Republic of China (ROC) replaced the Qing dynasty. In its early years as a republic, the country underwent a period of instability known as the "Warlord Era" before mostly reunifying in 1928 under a Nationalist government. A civil war between the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began in 1927. Japan invaded China in 1937, starting the Second Sino-Japanese War and temporarily halting the civil war. The surrender and expulsion of Japanese forces from China in 1945 left a power vacuum in the country, which led to renewed fighting between the CCP and the Kuomintang. The civil war ended in 1949[o] with the division of Chinese territory; the CCP established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while the Kuomintang-led ROC government retreated to the island of Taiwan.[p] Both claim to be the sole legitimate government of China, although the United Nations has recognized the PRC as the sole representation since 1971. From 1959 to 1961, the PRC implemented an economic and social campaign called the "Great Leap Forward" that resulted in a sharp economic decline and an estimated 15 to 55 million deaths, mostly through man-made famine. From 1966 to 1976, the turbulent period of political and social chaos within China known as the Cultural Revolution led to greater economic and educational decline, with millions being purged or subjected to either persecution or "politicide" based on political categories. Since then, the Chinese government has rebuked some of the earlier Maoist policies, conducting a series of political and economic reforms since 1978 that have greatly raised Chinese standards of living, and increased life expectancies.

China is currently governed as a unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic by the CCP. China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a founding member of several multilateral and regional cooperation organizations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the New Development Bank, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the RCEP. It is also a member of the BRICS, the G8+5, the G20, the APEC, and the East Asia Summit. It ranks among the lowest in measurements of democracy, civil liberties, government transparency, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the human rights of ethnic minorities. The Chinese authorities have been criticized by human rights activists and non-governmental organizations for human rights abuses, including political repression, mass censorship, mass surveillance of their citizens, and violent suppression of protest and dissent.

Making up around one-fifth of the world economy, China is the world's largest economy by GDP at purchasing power parity, the second-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the second-wealthiest country. The country is one of the fastest-growing major economies and is the world's largest manufacturer and exporter, as well as the second-largest importer. China is a recognized nuclear-weapon state with the world's largest standing army by military personnel and the second-largest defense budget. China is considered to be a potential superpower due to its high level of innovation, economic potential, growing military strength, and influence in international affairs.


Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ "Main Data of the Seventh National Population Census". Stats.gov.cn. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Chinese Religion | GRF". globalreligiousfutures.org.
  3. ^ "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). UN Statistics. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  4. ^ "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Largest Countries in the World by Area – Worldometers". worldometers.info.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference CIA was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ "China's first population fall since 1961 creates 'bleaker' outlook for country". the Guardian. 17 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference 2020_census was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ "Population density (people per km2 of land area)". IMF. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF.
  11. ^ "Gini index – China". World Bank. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  13. ^ "China". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  15. ^ "China". The World Factbook (2023 ed.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 3 July 2016. (Archived 2016 edition)
  16. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: "United States". The World Factbook (2023 ed.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 3 July 2016. (Archived 2016 edition)
  17. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain: "31 Years of CIA World Factbook". CIA. Retrieved 31 January 2014.

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